OTAY MESA, Calif. — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa Cargo port of entry seized over 10 tons of marijuana Monday hidden in a cargo shipment.
At approximately 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18, a CBP officer who was inspecting trucks as they waited in line for inspection encountered a 47-year-old male Mexican citizen, driving a tractor pulling a trailer carrying a manifested shipment of “plastic garment hangers.” The CBP officer referred the truck and shipment for an x-ray examination.
During the x-ray exam, CBP officers identified an anomaly and sent the truck and shipment to the dock for a more intensive examination. A CBP officer with a human-narcotic detector dog screened the truck, and the canine alerted to the trailer.
Officers opened the trailer, searched behind a few rows of boxes and discovered plastic-wrapped packages stacked from floor to ceiling. In total, officers found 858 packages, containing over ten tons of marijuana. The estimated street value is approximately $8.4 million.
“The ability of CBP officers to interdict contraband at the port of entry is a perfect example of CBP’s efforts to secure our border,” said Joseph Misenhelter, Officer in Charge at the Otay Mesa port of entry. “CBP officers prevented over 10 tons of marijuana from entering our community.”
CBP officers seized the tractor, trailer, cargo shipment and marijuana.
CBP officers canceled the driver’s B1/B2 visa and turned him over to Homeland Security Investigations agents for further processing.